I’ve always been super-fascinated with larger-than-life acts of engineering. Tallest buildings are a fun, but so too are their horizontal equivalent – super-long elevated bridges, rail lines, and so on. Generally, when I think of a bridge or elevated structure, its a short span to get over a river, another highway, or whathaveyou. There’s folks out there though that think nothing of using them to cross lakes, stretches of ocean, or entire states or cities, though. So – for your enjoyment, a collection of super-long elevated structures to check out via satellite.
Note: if the maps don’t show up, refresh the page.
This one is in Bangkok – somehow I managed to miss it while I was there. Or maybe I just passed under it – this elevated highway, the Bang Na Expressway, travels over Bangkok itself – not a body of water or whatever – for 54 kilometers.
How about New Orleans? The Lake Pontchartrain causeway is around 39 km long. I’ve set this map to start zoomed in, dead center on it – start zooming out, and you’ll see how long it is. Its also neat because it is laser straight.
54 and 38 km are nothing to laugh at, but China’s scale always tends to dwarf things – check out the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge – all 168 elevated kilometers of it – you can trace it for hours in Google Maps, over highways, towns, cities, rivers, everything. This is a high-speed rail line, incidentally – those are tracks, not lanes for cars.
OK – this one’s cool. Its another Shanghai-area elevated line, and its only ~30k, but its a maglev train line, which is neat, and Google Maps happened to capture one of the maglev trains pulling out of (or maybe into?) the futuristic looking station.
Final entry – the Confederation Bridge linking mainland Canada to the province of Prince Edward Island. Its only 13 km long, but pure patriotism merits its inclusion. Its also notable that it has a $4 pedestrian shuttle!
While pedestrians and cyclists are not permitted to cross, a shuttle service is available. The shuttle service was free of charge prior to 2006, but the shuttle service has charged C$4.25 per pedestrian or C$8.25 per cyclist since January 1, 2006. The fare is only applied when leaving Prince Edward Island (i.e., westbound). [Wikipedia]
For more long bridge goodness, Wikipedia has a conveniently awesome list.